Welcome to the first installment in what will be a recurring series here called the The Wine Files, because my friends think I’m classy (or lush) enough to write about wine and have asked me to do so. So here we are.
Installment One is kicking off in a big way, literally, by focusing strictly on 1.5 Liter bottles of wine. Also known as Magnum, XL, or Granny wines. (You know, the big bottles in the section you used to think only grannies shopped in?? Yep, those.)
While these larger bottles tend to have a bad rep here in the States, they are not only perfectly normal across the pond, but they are also really dang convenient. Because you never know when you might have unexpected company or an epic series of your children’s complete meltdowns culminating in a first-world crisis. (No judgment. We’ve all been there.)
Also worth noting is the fact that bringing multiple small children to the store is an adventure anyway, but bringing them through a decent wine shop is a downright crusade. Yes, I know. Booze is definitely an area where bigger is typically not better. I get that. But I also get wine. And I get parenting. And somedays you just feel like…
So in this phase of life, if you have the opportunity to grab one good bottle of wine that is actually two good bottles of wine, then I’m saying bigger actually can be better. Because less work and more wine = victory in my book.
“Fave Four” Wines, XL style
Without further adieu, here are my four favorite red and white 1.5 Liter wines. All of these are solid, not-your- average grocery store picks to suit any budget-conscious-fancy-preschool-tuition-paying parent or gourmand alike. No granny panties required.
My Fave Four Reds
|Name||Price* (@1.5L)||Description||Suggested Pairings||LtoL Rating|
|D’Autrefois Pinot Noir||$21.99||Elegant, Cherry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Medium bodied||Anything with fresh herbs. Grilled poultry; fish; herbed focaccia.||4/5|
|Ruffino Chianti||$14.79||Juicy, Cherry, Plum, Floral||Pizza; Pasta. Any Italian food, period.||4/5|
|Titus||$109.99||Complex, Black Currant, Oak, Chocolate, Full bodied||Filet Mignon! Prime Rib! Go big or go home.||5/5|
|Pierre Henri Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues||$29.99||Rich, Blackberry, Cherry, Spice, Medium bodied||Charcuterie; Lamb; Roasted anything; Chocolate. Life.||5/5|
*Prices may vary depending on location and availability. These are local prices currently available near me.
- D’Autrefois Pinot Noir
This Pinot Noir is a great value from an acclaimed winery in Burgundy, France. A very drinkable, light red French table wine with a crisp finish. A good summer red when full-bodied wines can be too heavy. Chill slightly and enjoy.
- Pierre Henri Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues
This Grenache/Syrah Blend from Cote du Rhone, France is one of my all-time favorite red wines. So the fact that it comes in a 1.5L size is really worth cheering about. With a fruity yet spicy finish, it goes with just about everything. Really. Everything.
- Ruffino Chianti
Nicely balanced Chianti taste that’s not too dry and finishes with just the right amount of tart cherry. This is a great value wine, considering you’re getting two bottles for less than $15. Cheap Chiantis can be disastrous, but this is a nice, safe pick from an established vineyard that makes more high-end reserve Chiantis as well.
4. Titus Cabernet Sauvignon
This Napa Cabernet is liquid gold. Yes $100+ is a lot to spend on wine, but keep in mind this is getting you TWO full bottles in one and many comparable Cabs sell for more than twice this price. Titus is a deep red, fruity and full-bodied wine that doesn’t disappoint. Great for holiday meals and special occasions.
My Fave Four Whites
|Name||Price (@1.5L)||Description||Suggested Pairings||LtoL Rating|
|Bougrier “V” Vouvray||$24.99||Elegant, Peach, Medium-bodied||Cheese; Fruit||5/5|
|Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio||$12.99||Crisp green apple, mineral,||Seafood; Asian/spicy dishes||5/5|
|DeBaune Connoissuer White||$14.99||Fresh, Apple, Honey, Light-bodied||Appetizers; Chicken and fresh seafood dishes||4/5|
|La Vostra Prosecco||$19.99||Sparkling, Crisp, Apple, Honeysuckle||Brunch; Appetizers; Celebrations!||5/5|
- Bougrier “V” Vouvray
- A quintessential summer wine, this Vouvray from France’s Loire Valley is light and refreshing on a hot day without being too sweet. Tastes great by the pool, or with your feet in the kiddie pool pretending. Perfect with a cheese plate and fresh fruit.
- Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio
This Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy’s Dolomite mountains is my go-to white. An excellent pairing with seafood, spicy dishes (particularly Asian flavors), or really, with just about about any sunny day. You cannot beat the price for such a versatile white. A good all-around “porch-pounder” as they say down here in the south.
- 3. DeBaune Connoisseur White A great French table wine, that blends just the right amount of peach and honeysuckle. Relaxed varietal that tastes far more expensive than it is. Great with appetizers and fresh seafood.
- 4. La Vostra Prosecco Because, brunch. And if your friends are anything like my friends, there’s no point in bringing a small bottle of bubbles for those mimosas. This prosecco is not too sweet, and not too dry and is the perfect brunch guest in it’s pretty pink bottle. A fantastic value.
That’s all folks! I hope you find something here that you love, you want, and maybe even need. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss out on further installments in The Wine Files. Requests welcome.
Until next time… cheers!
- Christiana is a Navy wife and mother of 3, attorney and former realtor, world traveler, home renovator and decorator, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and recipe and fine wine explorer.